Sid Brooks’ Tales from the San Diego Chargers Locker Room

Equipment Manager Sid Brooks recounts stories unique to a life spent working behind the scenes in the Chargers locker room

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During his 27-year tenure with the San Diego Chargers, equipment manager Sid Brooks kept over 5,000 football players from appearing naked before their cheering fans. The first African-American to hold the job of equipment manager in the NFL, Brooks’ job was to see that each player left the locker room in uniform. But the means to that end was far more complicated—and outrageous—than one would believe.
Sid Brooks’ Tales from the Chargers Locker Room takes the reader aboard the elevator to B2, the basement of Qualcomm Stadium, where the Chargers locker room is housed. In that basement, the equipment department and trainers, affectionately known as “dungeon rats,” ran the Chargers locker room. There, Sid Brooks became caretaker for all who crossed its threshold.

The locker room would be damp, dark, and quiet before the coffee and doughnuts arrived, before the arrogant swagger of the players and boom boxes, high-fives, and back-slapping brought the joint to life. Here Sid recreates that environment with tales from within the locker room, the team hotel, and the field of play, featuring stories about Chargers greats like Dan Fouts, Charlie Joiner, Kellen Winslow, Louie Kelcher, John Jefferson, Rodney Harrison, and Junior Seau.

Sid recounts stories unique to a life spent working behind the scenes in the Chargers locker room. With an eye for detail, he recounts tales of spies sent out to capture the opposing team’s playbooks; the night the lights went out on Don Schula; wild cab rides with Fouts, Joiner, and Winslow; the zany pre-game rituals and idiosyncrasies of Russ Washington, Wilbur Young, Pat Curran, Woodrow Lowe, and others; rivalries born not on the playing field, but at the dominoes table; and plenty of pranks and good-natured ribbing.

Rarely does a book offer more than a passing glance at what makes a football team a family. But Chargers fans can rejoice, because Sid Brooks not only introduces the family, he invites the reader over for dinner. But be warned: rookies are welcome at the dinner table, but they might have to sing for their supper.

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